John Steuart Curry (Painter) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born
John Steuart Curry

John Steuart Curry was an American painter whose career spanned the years from 1924 until his death. He was noted for his paintings depicting rural life in his home state, Kansas. Along with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he was hailed as one of the three great painters of American Regionalism of the first half of the twentieth century. Curry’s artistic production was varied, including paintings, book illustrations, prints, and posters. Curry was Kansas’s best known painter, but his works were not popular with Kansans, who felt that he did not portray the state positively. Farm life and animals, tornados, prairie fires, and John Brown were not things most Kansans wanted the state to be known for. He was commissioned to create murals for the Kansas State Capitol, and he completed two: Kansas Pastoral, and his most famous and controversial work, Tragic Prelude, which he considered his greatest.

Born: John Steuart Curry, November 14, 1897, Dunavant, Kansas
Died: August 29, 1946 (aged 48)
Nationality: American
Known for: Painting
Notable work: Tornado Over Kansas, Tragic Prelude
Movement: Regionalism

About John Steuart Curry

Regionalist painter who became known for “Baptism in Kansas,” “Tornado Over Kansas,” and other spectacular oil paintings. His most famous work was a decorative mural he created for the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka.

Before Fame

He graduated from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and worked as an illustrator for magazines such as Boys’ Life, St. Nicholas, County Gentleman, and The Saturday Evening Post.


His painting “The Flying Cadonas” was created during his time with the Ringling Brothers Circus.

Family Life

He was the first of five children born to farmers Smith and Margaret Curry. His parents admired the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Gustave Doré and covered their home in reproductions of the artists’ paintings.


He and Grant Wood were considered two of the greatest painters in the American Regionalism movement.

Information related to John Steuart Curry

  • United States Army artists
  • Geneva College alumni
  • Kansas City Art Institute alumni
  • Art Students League of New York faculty
  • Federal Art Project artists
  • American muralists

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